Local, community and global centrality methods for analyzing networks

  • Sibel Adalı
  • Xiaohui Lu
  • Malik Magdon-Ismail
Original Article


We examine whether the prominence of individuals in different social networks is determined by their position in their community, the whole network or by the location of their community within the network. To this end, we introduce two new measures of centrality, both based on communities in the network: local and community centrality. Community centrality is a novel concept that we introduce to describe how central one’s community is within the whole network. We introduce an algorithm to estimate the distance between communities and use it to find the centrality of communities. Using data from several social networks, we show that central communities incorporate actors who are involved in mainstream activities for that network. We then conduct a detailed study of different social networks and determine how various global measures of prominence relate to structural centrality measures. We show that depending on the underlying measure of prominence, different combinations of local, global and community centrality play an important role in determining the prominence. Local and community centrality measures add new information on top of existing global measures. We show robustness of our results by studying different partitions of the data and different clustering methods. Our deconstruction of centrality allows us to study the underlying processes that contribute to prominence in more detail and develop more detailed and accurate models.


Ground Truth Centrality Measure Betweenness Centrality Community Centrality Closeness Centrality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The research was sponsored by the Army Research Laboratory and was accomplished under Cooperative Agreement Number W911NF-09-2-0053. Xiahui Lu is supported by DARPA SMISC program via a subcontract to RPI from Sentametrix. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Army Research Laboratory or the US Government. The US Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation here on.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA

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